Improving school leadership a priority for national education policies, says OECD


28/08/2008 - Good teachers are the number one factor for excellence in student achievement but next comes high-quality leadership. Governments must do more to recruit and train the best people to run schools, according to a new OECD publication.
In today’s education world, school principals have a vital role to play in modernising entire education systems, says Improving School Leadership, a two-volume report drawing on evidence from 19 countries.
And yet, at a time when governments are struggling to raise school performance, the men and women that run schools are frequently overburdened, underpaid and often nearing retirement, in many cases without a wide enough choice of qualified candidates to replace them.
Drawing on comparative analysis and case studies, Volume 1, Policy and Practice, identifies four ways in which governments can develop and train new generations of school leaders:

  • (Re)define school leadership responsibilities, focusing on roles that can improve school results.
  • Distribute school leadership, by engaging and recognising broader participation in leadership teams.
  • Develop skills for effective school leadership over different stages of practice.
  • Make school leadership an attractive profession by ensuring appropriate wages and career prospects.

Volume 2, Case Studies on System Leadership, reviews innovative practices in Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Finland and the United Kingdom (England) in order to illustrate what some countries are actually doing to encourage school leaders to contribute to system transformation – so that every school is a good school.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Susan Copeland (mailto: susan.copeland @ at OECD's Directorate for Education (tel. + 33 1 45 24 97 34).
Read the Executive Summary of Improving School Leadership.

For more information on school leadership:
Improving School Leadership can be purchased in paper or electronic form through the OECD’s Online Bookshop. Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online version via SourceOECD. Journalists may obtain copies via the OECD's password-protected website or from OECD's Media Division ( @ tel: +33 1 45 24 97 00).


Related Documents